Charles Stanish is the Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and professor of Anthropology at UCLA. He specializes in the development of complex political and economic systems in the pre-modern world. He has worked extensively throughout South America. His theoretical work focuses on the roles that trade, war, and labor play in the evolution of human cooperation and society. He holds the Lloyd Cotsen Chair at UCLA, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.